In recent weeks Dame Deborah James has made the power of the podcast clear for all to see. Ground-breaking as it is, the brilliant You, Me & the Big C is not the only podcast changing people’s attitudes to life, death and grief. This month we are highlighting some of the podcasts that are making an impact by opening up conversations about this important, yet often hidden, subject.
You, Me & the Big C
Thanks to her plain-speaking BBC Sounds show You, Me & the Big C, with co-hosts Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland (who died in September 2018 aged 40) Deborah has made talking about the unspeakable not only acceptable, but essential. Now, at the end of the road for her bowel cancer treatment, she continues to change the conversation about life and death.
Hosted by comedian Cariad Lloyd, whose father died from pancreatic cancer when she was 15, Griefcast allows media personalities, including actor Greg Wise and author Marian Keyes, to share stories about loved ones they have lost. Now in its fifth year and eighth season, the award-winning podcast opens up unhurried conversations where, as Lloyd says, ‘Nobody’s going to change the subject.’
The Grief Coach
Host Brooke James, who lost her own father to cancer three years ago when she was 30, created the podcast she needed but could not find. Now approaching its 80th episode, in The Grief Coach New York-based Brooke interviews everyone from therapists to funeral directors.
The Worst Girl Gang Ever
Friends Bex Gunn and Laura Buckingham hadn't even met when they set up The Worst Girl Gang Ever, bonding over the pain of miscarriage, baby loss and infertility. Just two years on, they have notched up almost 100 episodes of their podcast of the same name, and have created a loyal community of others in Britain and beyond who’ve found comfort and understanding in their ‘honest conversations about unspoken experiences’.
Based in Australia, Good Mourning addresses the universal experience of death. Hosted by Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn, the pair tune in to all elements of loss and grief with unflinching honesty that helps listeners feel as if they are in the company of friends.
The Widow Podcast
After the death of her husband Simon in 2016, Karen Sutton became a grief coach, using her experiences as a young widow to help others through the pain of bereavement. Alongside this, she started The Widow Podcast, holding the hand of others through the twisting path of grief, from the anxiety of bereavement to navigating the loss of intimacy.
The Life and Death Podcast
This is a podcast broadcast from Ashgate Hospice in Derbyshire, one of a handful of hospices to record their own. Hosted by Ashgate’s senior physiotherapist Stephen Rumford, and now on its third season, Life and Death explores through honest interviews what ‘dying well’ actually means.
Are there any podcasts that have particularly helped you? Let us know and we will include them in a future blog post.